This Week on Kickstarter: Carmageddon, Drifter, Spate

We take a look at the week's best Kickstarter projects, including a reboot of Carmageddon, the space trading game Drifter, and the gorgeous 2.5D platformer Spate.

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This Week on Kickstarter is a weekly look at some of the most exciting, brilliant, and downright crazy games seeking crowd funding. This week, we get all nostalgic with a reboot of Carmageddon and Rob Swigart's Commodore 64-classic Portal, explore outer space in Drifter, and gawp over the beautiful 2D visuals of Spate.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation

If there's one thing missing from today's driving games, it's mindless, bloody violence. And cows. Cute, innocent, exploding cows. Fortunately, there's a Kickstarter campaign that's looking to bring the gore back into driving.

Stainless Games is looking for $400,000 to fund Carmageddon: Reincarnation, a PC reboot of the original sandbox driving game, complete with true 3D physics, dynamic car damage and repair, an action replay system, free-roaming environments, and of course the ability to mow down pedestrians at will.

There's more to the project than just bringing back the original features though, with Stainless Games promising true rag-doll pedestrians and new physics-based power-ups that let you mess with the limbs of innocent bystanders. Plus, the developer is also promising modern multiplayer modes that build on the LAN-based multiplayer of old--minus the lugging around of PCs to a mate's house and the resulting manly musk.

A $15 pledge will net you a copy of the game from Steam, $25 gets you early access to the beta, while further pledges promise exclusive digital content such as car models, multiple copies, and the chance to be featured in the game as a billboard or pedestrian. If you're flush with cash, then $7,500 dollars buys you a flight to the launch party and what will no doubt be an epic drinking session with the development team in a UK pub.

Drifter

In the good old days of PC gaming, space simulators were all the rage, with classics like Elite, Privateer II, and Descent Freespace giving gamers the chance to explore, trade, and indulge in some dogfighting in outer space. Developer Celsius Game Studios is hoping to bring the genre back to life with Drifter, an open-world sandbox space trading game for iOS, PC, and Mac.

What's unique about Drifter is its procedurally generated galaxy, which will mean that every player has a unique experience while living the life of a merchant, becoming a bounty hunter, or laying siege to the galaxy as a pirate. The game is already said to feature a procedurally generated galaxy 100,000 light years across with more than 10,000 star systems.

Backing up the free-roaming exploration will be a full narrative that tells the tale of different factions that populate the galaxy. A killer soundtrack is also in the works too, composed by Danny Baranowsky, who is known for his work on Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac, Canabalt, and Cave Story 3D.

Backers pledging $15 will net themselves a DRM-free copy of the game for Mac or PC, while $25 gets you access to the beta and a digital download of the soundtrack. A cool $75 gets you the Drifter collector's box set, which will include a printed manual, a foldout galaxy map, an 18x24-inch limited-edition poster, and your name included in the game's random NPC list. $1,000 buys you a star system in the game bearing your name, but sadly no chance for a piss-up.

Spate

When a video game is being developed by an artist whose resume includes Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and the new Spider-Man film, chances are it's going to look very, very pretty. Such is the case with Eric Provan's Spate, a 2.5D platformer being developed for the PC that mixes moody scenes with a steampunk aesthetic for some delightfully dark visuals.

Spate promises to play like classic platformers of old, with games like Mario, Ico, and Limbo cited as influences. It tells the story of a private detective named Bluth who's hired to track down a businessman who has disappeared in a "forbidden zone." Throw in some rain, Unity engine visuals, and a noir-style narration, and you've got yourself the makings of a very interesting platformer.

While Eric Provan already has one additional person working on Spate in the form of programmer Temo Kokiashvili, he's asking for a modest $12,000 to hire additional staff and "scale up the production values" of the game.

If you fancy helping him out, a pledge of $10 buys you a DRM-free copy of the game on PC, while $30 gets you early access to the beta and a digital copy of the game's soundtrack. $300 gets your face made into an in-game statue, but if you crave a little more, for $1,500 the main villain will be made in your likeness and will bear your name, which is pretty much the most awesome thing ever. And you get to have design input into the game, which means you could potentially ensure your villain self wears a top hat and carries a cat named Buttons.

Rob Swigart's Portal Reborn v2.0

Before GladOS was even a twinkle in Gabe Newell's eye, Rob Swigart created the self-proclaimed world's first "computer novel" titled Portal for the Commodore 64. It was a science-fiction tale about an astronaut who returned home after a failed hundred-year voyage, only to find that all the inhabitants of Earth had suddenly disappeared.

Swigart is looking to re-create the original, largely text-based game and turn it into a PC third-person adventure game, based on an expanded version of the original story. It promises to feature scripted 3D in-game and 2D motion comic cutscenes, original music, sound effects, professionally voiced dialogue, and a somewhat vague "360 degrees of freedom."

The project has already attracted a host of video gaming legends, including Dawn of Fantasy artist, 3D modeller, and composer Joel Steindler; Matt Costello (The 7th Guest, The 11th Hour, Doom 3, Rage); Phil Rossi (Crescent, Harvey, Eden); and Stephen Russell and Terri Brosius (Thief, Thief II, Thief: Deadly Shadows, System Shock 2, Freedom Force, Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich).

A pledge of $15 scores you a copy of the game, while $30 also gets you a copy of the soundtrack, a novel, an art book, a world map, desktop wallpaper, a comic book, and an anthology book. The real fun comes with pledges of $10,000 dollars or more, where your likeness will be featured in the game during a "dramatic scene," an eight-inch bust of protagonist Homer, and limited-edition replicas of spacecraft featured in the game. And also a drunken evening at the launch party.

Discussion

35 comments
crimsonmage11
crimsonmage11

You should check out MACRObots on KickStarter.  That game looks pretty unique, and could have a lot of potential!  It sounds like you design the artificial intelligence for a group of asteroid mining robots... and your AI competes against other players AI in a battle of the nerdy minds!  Sounds kind of sweet...

zoladex
zoladex

Few games that could do with a remake i remember sinking a good couple of hours into in my youth:

 

Mega-lo-mania

Archimedean Dynasty

Carmageddon

7th Legion

 

And one that needs continuing, as bignick says, Nexus 2.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

I previously had little interest in kickstarter but once a heard Carmageddon was jumping on board, i joined and pledged.

bignick217
bignick217

Nexus 2, the sequel to Nexus the Jupiter Incident is also going to be up on kickstarter in a few weeks as well.  Can't wait.  I'll definitely be contributing that one.

Demonlawyer
Demonlawyer

They've missed the biggest one of the week - Tex Murphy - Project Fedora is up there too, having raised over $200,000 in four days. It promises to be the best game yet and is drawing huge support.

Shengy89
Shengy89

So to collect $400,000 through $15 increments (Carmageddon), they need approximately 26,700 buyers; and even less if people can pay more. You see were I'm going? People can pay much less to pre-order games that can match AAA titles & mutual dependence is created. This is a hard market to work in, but if this keeps up, the big corporations will need to rethink their game pricing strategies or they may just start to sink; slowly but surely.

macaque12
macaque12

Ahhh Funded 150 dollars on Carmageddon, can't way for my physical copy!!

Psycold
Psycold

Oh man I miss Carmageddon

MichaeltheCM
MichaeltheCM

i like the idea of kickstarter. very clever tool for developers and great fun for fans

lindallison
lindallison

Where's the fund to fix Colin Walsh's Strabismus. 

 

I hope all these Space Sims on Kickstarter bear fruit, - it's my favorite genre by far.  Personally I'm on the fence about supporting any with a pledge...seems weird to pay for something that may never actually be released, when your return on investment is just a copy of the game which you could just buy after its finished....but then if everyone thought like that there'd be no pledges....

Grovilis
Grovilis

Keep these coming please! I really enjoy seeing what these different underdog companies can do.

BigMikeM77
BigMikeM77

Wow spate really looks fun, cant wait for that one.

RobertBowen
RobertBowen

Good idea for a weekly series.  Can we also have news on projects that have achieved their funding over the past week?

 

On a side note...there's still no Gamespot page for 'Grim Dawn'. :/

xan114
xan114

carmageddon yesss

Psy_m_on
Psy_m_on

Carmageddon!! Can't wait :D

TomPoots
TomPoots moderator

Although I backed Carmageddon Reincarnation, it reminds me of Duke Nukem Forever... Old gameplay with new graphics doesn't mean great game.

Master_I
Master_I

if i had the spare loot, i'd fund carmageddon, all the money they want! I loved that game :D

Bane_09
Bane_09

Drifter looks pretty cool

ecurl143
ecurl143

Yeah, this is where proper games that are actually worth the money will be born.

ICE_PREDATOR
ICE_PREDATOR

kickstarter is awesome. i hope Carma will see the light at the end of the tunnel

Twilighten
Twilighten

@Demonlawyer Sorry, I only just saw your comment after posting mine. :P

Texstarter
Texstarter

Tex Murphy: Project Fedora is the biggest Kickstarter of the millennium! Carmageddon looks awesome too, but nothing even comes close to being as awesome as Project Fedora! I am considering selling my house so that I can donate more funds to Project Fedora!  www.texmurphy.com

bignick217
bignick217

 @Gelugon_baat I think that's a bit of an unfair statement.  Quite frankly, a lot of us have been getting let down with the mainstream developers lately.  All publishers seem to want to do is FPS after FPS after FPS.  Look at all the classic games many of the publishers are trying to revive now.  Many of them originally RTS's or RPG's and yet all of them, being redone as.... You guessed it, FPS's.  The publishers aren't really bringing out really good games lately.  It's mostly the same games, same franchises/sequels/spinoffs, same genre's and mostly done half-assed all the time.  There's no originality anymore with mainstream publishers.  Many old time gamers like us have given up hope on the mainstream pubs.  It's time to look elsewhere.  The indie's have already proven themselves as competent and very talented.  But as you've noticed, most of the indies out really struggle with getting the funding they need to get off the ground.  Especially from mainstream publisher investment.  The ones you see today are the ones that beat the odds and made it.  That's where kickstarter comes in.  If anything kickstarter is the indies saving grace.  Contributing doesn't mean you're appealing to nostalgia.  Contributing means you promoting the games you, yourself want to play.  Games that you want to see.  Games that you think are worth it.  If they fail, well it's not likely they'll be supported again.  But if they succeed, well then that something to behold.  You got the game you wanted, and you become part of what made it possible.  Sure some nostalgia may be at play, but it is by no means the only factor of the equation.  That's why your comment is unfair to say the least.  It more about supporting the development of game you "want" to play as opposed to only what the mainstream publishers give you that was ultimately chosen buy a monkey in a suit who's probably never played a game in his life and only looks at numbers on a sheet of paper and said "ooooo, that one made us money, let's make more of those.... Lots, lots more of those... Oh and forget the others on the list, I doubt those will make us as much money... Those only for hardcore gamers."  Think about it before making such an assumption.

CGSColin
CGSColin

 @lindallison You really think that'd fly on Kickstarter? This stereo blindness is a bitch.

bdous
bdous

 @Blackheart_RE Yeah i am excited too .Finally a kickstarter i am intersted about

marco1k1
marco1k1

 @TomPoots They did already mention the fact that some of the mechanics are used in many games no, they are aware of that and I'd imagine their changing things up to stop that kind of problem.

 

At least I'd hope.

phixional_b3ar
phixional_b3ar

 @Gelugon_baat I imagine I speak for everyone who's read this exchange when I say that you are beyond pathetic. Grow up.

bignick217
bignick217

 @Gelugon_baat Wow, in that one statement right there, you just made yourself not worth the effort.  Not worth the respect.  Not worth the courtesy of being amicable.  And not worth my time.  Go wallow and sulk in your own negativity and hostility by yourself.  I've got better things to do.

marco1k1
marco1k1

 @Gelugon_baat That's the same either way, games will always displease at very least one person who bought the game or contributed.

 

And apologies, I don't mean to sound like I'm out-right attacking you or your life style as I imagine it is similar to my own all I meant by it was that your comment was very negative rather than informative, which it was clearly meant to be.

bignick217
bignick217

 @Gelugon_baat "Like I have said earlier, you will see: there will be those who cannot accept that they have pledged money for a project that they do not have a controlling stake in."

 

Yes, I agree that there are people who are like that, but that shouldn't negate the good that kickstarter could provide to many upstarts as a whole.

 

As for the fad remark.  Everything is a fad.  The question is whether or not kickstarter will prove to be more beneficial or detrimental as a whole over time.  And that is question that neither of us can answer until much further down the line looking back.  You and I have contrasting opinions of how it looks at this point, but they are both just opinions at this point.

bignick217
bignick217

 @Gelugon_baat  "There will be issues arising from the discontent of contributors who believe that a game did not turn out the way they like.  You will see."

 

That's the name of the game.  Risk.  It just means that anyone who contributes has to accept the same risk that publishers have to when they decide to back a game.  You can't please everyone, so you have to decide for yourself if it's worth the risk to contribute.  I would have thought that would have been a given.  If they fail to live up to your expectations, would you invest again.  Probably not.  That's a test that will affect both the people investing and the developer.  Failure means you won't contribute again and they likely won't get pledged again.  Success means you got the game you wanted and the developer likely their shot for continued business.  It's that simple.  It's a risk, but it doesn't necessarily make a bad thing over the whole.

bignick217
bignick217

 @Gelugon_baat   I didn't say anything about what could or couldn't happen on kickstarter nor how it could be used in a negative way.  I was only saying that your nostalgia comment was a bit unfair and I stand by that.  As for what could or couldn't happen or what kickstarter is now and how it could or couldn't be exploited/ruined in the future.  Believe me, I have no delusions.  There will always be someone who will somehow figure out a way to ruin a good thing.  But I'm not going to immediately slate it before I get to see how things progress over the long term.  As for disposable cash... I don't have a lot of disposable cash.  I live day to day like most people.  But I would be more worried about people willingly paying 15 pounds each for map packs for call of duty that only come with 4 maps each or actually paying for elite service for features they should be getting free rather than worrying about choosing to invest in a game they really want to play helping a either an upstart company get on it's feet or get that game you've wanted to see made for years.  Whether it's a sequel to game you loved years ago or game made with a gameplay style that you've always wanted to see in a game, but nobodies done before and you found a project trying to accomplish it.  It just depends on your perspective.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not slating/flaming you in any way.  I just thought your initial statement was a bit unfair.  Nothing more.

marco1k1
marco1k1

 @Gelugon_baat  @bignick217 That irrelevent, Whats with the downside to it all?

 

As if there is nothing better to do in life than nit-pick reasons for everything to be bad?